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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
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Hewell

 

An island off the coast of Maine.

 

(AG-145: displacement 515 tons; length 177'; beam 33'; draft 10'; speed 13 knots; complement 52; armament 2 50 caliber machine guns; class Camano)

 

Hewell (AG-145) was launched in 1944 by United States Concrete Pipe Corp., Los Angeles, Calif.; served the United States Army as Freight and Supply (FS)-391; acquired by the Navy 2 February 1948, reclassified as a miscellaneous auxiliary and commissioned at Pearl Harbor on 5 June 1948, Lt. (j.g.) John W. Hinkleman in command.

 
Hewell's shakedown cruise intitially took her across the central Pacific to Midway, Guam and Saipan. Attached to the Service Force, Pacific Fleet, Hewell carried supplies between Navy bases throughout the central Pacific. Redesignated a light cargo ship or AKL-14 in June 1949 she continued her duties of transporting cargo among the Pacific Islands, including the Caroline and Marshall Islands. After the North Korean communist attack on South Korea in June 1950 Hewell shifted her base of operations to Japan in July, from there shuttling supplies and ammunition between Japan, Okinawa and Guam to Korea. The light cargo ship returned to her normal inter-island cargo carrying routine in October, remaining on that duty until August 1951 when she sailed to Pearl Harbor for overhaul.


From November 1951 to March of 1953, Hewell transported supplies and ammunition on the shuttle route from Japan and Korea, conducting an unglamorous but vital role in helping to keep United Nations forces in "beans and bullets." After another overhaul at Pearl Harbor in April and May 1953, the light cargo ship resumed supply runs from Japan for the troops in Korea. The end of hostilities in August 1953 did not end her supply missions and Hewell cremained on that duty through mid-1954. In June of that year, she made a cruise through the central Pacific island bases before arriving at Pearl Harbor in July.


In late August 1954 Hewell departed Hawaii for Midway Island, mooring at the Naval Base there on 28 August to help film the Warner Brothers movie Mister Roberts. The film, starring Henry Fonda, James Cagney, William Powell and Jack Lemmon, was partially shot on board Hewell, with underway footage filmed off Midway harbor between 1-16 September. The light cargo ship then sailed back to Hawaii between 24-29 September and additional film was shot off Kaneohe Bay between 30 September and 7 October.


Shortly thereafter, Hewell sailed east to Astoria, Oreg., remaining there until she decommissioned 15 March 1955 and joined the Columbia River Group, Pacific Reserve Fleet. Hewell remained there until 1 November 1959 when she was stricken from the Navy last and sold to Steve Pickard 2 June 1960.

 

Hewell received seven battle stars for Korean service.


Partial update 19 June 2007